This weekend, it's Denver Comic Con

In a matter of hours, the doors will open on the Colorado Convention Center for the second annual Denver Comic Con, which has grown by leaps and bounds from its wildly successful inaugural event. That first show drew 27,800 attendees -- double what co-founder Charlie Le Greca had expected -- but ticket sales for this installment are up 47 percent over last year.

However, the convention's growth isn't calculated solely by tickets: Artists Alley will feature more than 220 creators, while the number of panels have increased from 150 to 250.

"Our programming director set a really high bar for himself this year, wanting to do more, so we have 250 programming panel hours, which is just unheard of," La Greca tells Denver Westword. "It can be anything from learn how to write novels to storyboarding for movies to fan experiences to spotlights on someone's career. There's definitely something for everyone."

Along with the usual creators, media celebrities and role-playing games, there's also the Comic Book Classroom, which La Greca describes as "really is the heart of the whole thing." It's an organization dedicated to promoting literacy and education through comic books; a portion of the proceeds from Denver Comic Con go toward helping the charity educate children.

This year's event, which runs through Sunday, features such comics guests as Amy Reeder, Andy Runton, Ben Templesmith, Chris Ware, Doug TenNapel, Farel Dalrymple, Denny O'Neil, Fiona Staples, George Perez, Jeffrey Brown, Jim Mahfood, Jim Steranko, Joe Kelly, Katie Cook, Matt Kindt, Matt Wagner, Mike Baron, Mike McKone, Paul Ryan, Peter Bagge, Phil Jimenez and Steve T. Seagle.

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